Web edition: September 25, 2012
Not many scientists begin their careers with a busted knee. But that’s exactly how Evan Olin, now 18, got his start. While a freshman at Ossining High School in New York, this competitive runner ran so fast and so hard that he sustained serious injuries to both legs. It kept him off the track for months. Rather than becoming discouraged by his limping gait, however, Olin turned to science. He started exploring how intense activities — like his long jogs — could harm the human body.
The summer before his sophomore year, Olin landed a spot working in the lab of Gregory Gutierrez at New York University. Gutierrez studies how human joints develop and function. Eventually Olin started plopping experienced joggers onto treadmills to see how they ran when forced to jog barefoot — a type of running that’s become popular among exercise fiends.
He and other students profiled here show how even high school students can begin to participate in interesting and important research.